International shipyards group Damen has designed a ballast water pre-filtration barge (BWPF) to help ship operators manage ballasting operations in waters of high sediment.
The barge, which is designed to go alongside a vessel berthed in port and filter the ballast water before it is taken on board, can process up to 4,000m3 of water per hour, with sediment content ranging from 50 to 1,500 mg per litre.
The IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention sets a sediment limit of 50mg per litre at which treatment systems must be able to function effectively. Yet many ports and terminals have waters with far higher sediment content. High sediment levels can block ballast water filters, disrupt cargo operations and ballast water intake, and potentially cause significant delays.